Over the years I’ve received emails and letters from customers sharing photos with me of their furry friends snuggling in their Jordana Paige bag. I’ve even seen a photo a baby laying in the satchel! Wish I could find that picture, it was on Ravelry. Anyway, I recently read a comment on Ravelry by Annie who said her cat peed on the outside of her satchel. What a disaster!! Fortunately, she was able to successfully remove the smell. Here’s what she said:
What is it with kooky cats and fancy knitting bags?
My logic was that a bag full of tinkle is a ruined bag so why not wash it out and take a chance because I had nothing to lose by then. My cheapness overcame my squeamishness. I did not find it when it was still wet, either. I was carrying my bag with me one day and was thinking “wow, everywhere I go smells like cat pee….wait, i have three cats! OH NO!” So it really had a chance to soak in there. Ew.
I just took it to the kitchen sink and washed it with warm water and some enzyme pet mess cleaner in a spray bottle, I used an old toothbrush on the stitching areas and crevices to get them really good and then let it dry in the sunshine. Then I febrezed it a lot and let it sit in the sun some more. Letting it dry a really long time seemed important to me so that any of the structural bits inside would not bend while wet and get floppy, so I let it dry even longer than I thought it needed.
I can’t smell any more cat smell in the bag now, even when it has been stored closed up for a while. My bag doesn’t stink, but I do seem to recall that the lining did waterspot a bit from the febreeze. I fixed that by spraying the whole thing evenly and it camouflaged the waterspotting. And I don’t think the innards of the bag were too damaged by washing it, obviously it’s not ideal, though. If more of it had been inside the bag I might not have been able to save it. I never leave my bag unattended on the floor or table at home now, though. I always hang it over a doorknob if I’m not using it so the cats don’t have a chance to finish the job.
When I shared my tale of horror and outrage with my knitting group, one of them said if I could stick it in the freezer for several days that would get the smell out, too. I never had to go to that last step because the smell was out, but that is one more avenue someone could try. I have also read that theatre costume people use vodka to keep the costumes fresh, so if someone is allergic to the scent of febreze then pure vodka would be what I would try, and then letting it dry in the sunshine. Sunshine is a large component of my funk-fighting repertoire.
Thanks for the tips Annie!